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Polaris

Spitsbergen exploration cruise


  • Length: 12 days
  • Guests: 12
  • Period: early June to mid-September
  • Departures/arrival point: Longyearbyen (airport)
  • More information/dates/prices: upon request

Spitzberg


Overview

We will take you to explore Spitsbergen Island, located at 80° north (merely 1,100 km from the North Pole!), the most northern land a ship can reach, the kingdom of the polar bear. We will alternate between excursions and navigations in order to discover without haste the sceneries, the glaciers and the wildlife that give this place its charms. The days of summer never end in Spitsbergen, and we will enjoy the pleasures of very long days and the lights of the midnight sun.

Spitzberg


Complete description

Spitsbergen

Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, north of Norway. The name, which means “pointed mountains”, results from Spitsbergen’s very mountainous landscape that shows all the typical features of polar environment. The island is rich with dazzling panoramas, gigantic glaciers, steep mountains as well as plains in flowers and welcoming tundras. It is home for a very diverse arctic wildlife that you will discover with us: polar bears, bearded seals, walruses, reindeers, arctic foxes, whales (beluga whales and Minke whale), many bird species such as the common eider, the arctic Tern, the Atlantic puffin, the black guillemots, the little auk, the snow bunting, the barnacle goose, the Ivory gull, the phalaropes…
The island was also the scene for whale hunting in the 17th Century as well as a place of fur trapping, and has been the starting point for countless North Pole expeditions, the vestiges of which are still visible when we will visit the island.

Details of the expedition

The circuit starts with your arrival at Longyearbyen’s airport in the evening. The ship will cast off the next day and will head for the north. We will stay in different places every day, and we will follow the western seaboard towards the north of the island, putting in several times along the way. While the trip on the first and the last days may last longer, our other journeys will consist of short trips of a few hours, which may sometimes be extended when we encounter whales, seals and bears. We will spend the “nights” lying at anchor at the feet of glaciers or in quiet, beautiful bays. We will stop at Farmhamna, Poolpynten, the King’s Bay, the 14 of July Glacier, the Lilliehook Glacier, the Magdalena Fjord, the island of Ytre, Virgo Bay, Hamilton Bay, Lifdefjorden, the Monaco Glacier and many other places. During each stop, we will go on foot excursion, sometimes for only a couple of hours, to check a seal colony or a bird nesting area on flat lands, to climb a summit and enjoy the panoramic scenery, to cross a peninsula behind which Polaris 1 or her zodiac inflatables will pick us up again, or to walk on glaciers and admire its mills and crevasses. You can expect some encounters with wild animals every time; we will take the time to observe them. All the land excursions will be under the supervision of professional and seasoned guides. There is no strict schedule, as the program will literally be decided by the ice field and the animals, and mostly by the bears. We will constantly watch for the appearance of the Lord of the Arctic, and as soon as it graces us with its presence, we will come to watch it (by sea, naturally) and enjoy the formidable and unforgettable scenes of the life of this incredible animal. On past occasions, we had several opportunities to watch mother bears suckling their young, male bears hunting or eating seals on icebergs, or simply some bears on a stroll.

Spitzberg


More information

  • Physical condition: there is no specific age or physical requirement. The guests must be in good shape and able to walk for a few hours on a fairly even land.
  • Climate: permanent daylight in the summer, the sun shines at midnight… temperatures between 0 and 15 °C.
  • Required equipments:
    - Though the temperatures are not really cold, bring your winter clothes, as they will be required for the zodiac tours.
    - Walking shoes.
    - Binoculars.
  • No time difference.

Consult our photo gallery.

Spitzberg